Re: AAT Questions...

Pat Dooley (
8 Jul 1995 23:29:29 -0400

Alex Duncan writes:

>I've just spoken to Dr. Claud Bramblett, who is a renowned primatologist
>with lots of experience with catarrhine primates in both the field and
>the lab. Claud assures me that both chimps and gorillas DO sweat. While
>we're at it, so do other animals like camels, horses, etc. (I suspect
>the perissodactyl hoof is originally an aquatic adaptation for smashing
>coral, and the hump of camels? a flotation device.)

It is well known that many animals sweat; it is an efficient means of
particularly when is is discrete (no excess moisture) and facilitated by
In non-primates, sweating is done through the acoprine glands.

V.E. Sokolov, an expert in mammalian skin describes eccrine sweating as
uniquely human. One poster did cite evidence of eccrine sweating in
another primate, although not a close relative.

Elaine Morgan claimed, in Scars of Evolution, that laboratory tests on
chimpanzees showed they did not sweat in normal temperature ranges
but some moisture could be exuded in regions heavily populated by
acoprine glands under extreme heat stress. Perhaps she could provide
citations for us.

> I think AAT proponents are making the common assumption that
>human features are necessarily UNIQUE to humans. The burden of proof is
>on AAT supporters to demonstrate that all of the features that they say
>humans evolved in an aquatic environment don't also show up in other
>primates (e.g. salty tears -- tears are an excretion, and like most
>excretions are salty, and thus provide a hospitable environment for the
>eyeball. I don't know for certain that other primates also have salty
>tears, but I would eat my computer if I found out they didn't.)

How big is your computer? The area is fraught with difficulties because
other primates don't weep copiously, whereas humans actually have
two types of tears. Check out William Frey on the subject.

William H. Prey, 1985. The Mystery of Tears. Harper &

Pat Dooley